Time in care: Longitudinal outcomes from a latent class analysis of time in early education and care

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This study uses longitudinal data collected from a larger early learning study. Time variables in early education and care (ECEC) demographics were gathered from a family questionnaire and outcome variables were collected during one-on-one child interviews and assessments. Children (n=568) were assessed in fall and spring of kindergarten and first grade. Using multilevel modeling, a three level model with time nested within children and children nested within ECEC pathways to test the association between children's pathway through ECEC with child level outcomes. This study found significant differences between children enrolled in center based care from birth to kindergarten entry. First, differences in school connection outcomes are evident at kindergarten entry and persist through the end of first grade. Specifically, children enrolled full time in center-based ECEC for the first five years of life have lower school related self-image and like school less than their peers. Second, differences in cognitive outcomes were also evident at kindergarten entry, but more differences emerged over time. This work has important implications for policy makers and educators specifically in the context of what professional development, curricular interventions, and programmatic improvements can be made to assure children's time in center-based ECEC is as beneficial as possible to children's cognitive and non-cognitive development.


Education and Human Ecology: 2nd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)


early childhood, longitudinal, latent class analysis, dosage of care, education